Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Electrical System "Shutdown"

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    23
    Post Thanks / Like

    Electrical System "Shutdown"

    My electrical system goes into discharge nearly every time I turn on the landing lights. I installed new LED landing lights in an effort to solve this problem (to draw less amperage) but the installation did not correct the issue. 1976 PA-18 "150" came with the Interav system: 55 amp alternator, voltage regulator (Alcor) and over voltage relay. Cycling the system by turning off all electrical components and then switching master switch back on sometimes worked but mostly not. Any suggestions would certainly be appreciated as this issue has been bugging me for years. Thanks.
    Phil

  2. #2
    fancypants's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    331
    Post Thanks / Like
    Have you measured the current draw of the landing light circuits off the battery with the engine off?
    Thanks suupercub thanked for this post

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    23
    Post Thanks / Like
    I will put that on my checklist next time I visit the airport. The new LED's are supposed to draw a fraction of the current that the standard 4509 bulbs do. I've also thought about pulling the OVR breaker to see if that makes any difference. I appreciate your response, and if you have any other ideas I would certainly welcome them. Thanks.
    Phil

  4. #4
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    chugiak AK
    Posts
    10,502
    Post Thanks / Like
    Brushes worn on alternator. That would be my first check. Just replace them. You can find them at Napa. For Motorola alternator


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org

  5. #5
    moneyburner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    958
    Post Thanks / Like
    I had precisely the same problem.

    I bought a used 0-320 core that came with that alternator, but no regulator, so I bought the InterAv regulator and installed both. It would discharge if the bus was pulling anything over about 12 amps. So, if I had the radio on, the transponder and the strobes, it would result in a dead battery in about 90 minutes while flying. (the Whelen strobe power supply draws about 10 amps all by itself, if I recall). Belts were replaced, wiring scrutinized, amp gauges consulted and finally the alternator was removed and bench tested and found to be fit and hardy.

    I replaced the regulator and overvoltage relay with a Plane Power R1224. It is a PMA replacement for the InterAv regulator and includes an over voltage relay and can be adjusted for float voltage, if necessary. The wiring is different because the over voltage relay is internal, but it isn't significant.

    That solved it with no further issues.

    https://www.aircraftspruce.com/pages...ePowerSAL2.php

    PA 18 with the InterAv STC is on the AML.

    P.S.: The InterAv regulator was mounted on the firewall below and to the right of the muffler. The replacement was moved inside the cabin to eliminate the possibility that radiated heat was causing the problem.
    Last edited by moneyburner; 10-19-2019 at 04:37 PM.
    Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum videtur

  6. #6
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    chugiak AK
    Posts
    10,502
    Post Thanks / Like
    Also add a good ground wire from engine/alternator to airframe if there is none


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org

  7. #7
    wireweinie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    2,573
    Post Thanks / Like
    Plane-Power is ALWAYS the answer to an Interav problem.

    If you stay with the Interav system, have the alternator bench checked. Without being there to troubleshoot it, I'd have to agree that bad brushes sound like the most likely cause. If the alternator bench checks good, check for voltage at the field terminal on the back of the alternator. With the system 'on' and the engine not turning, the voltage should be near battery voltage.
    With the system 'on' and the engine running, that voltage should be a couple of volts or less. Anything else and the reg or wiring is bad.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.
    Likes moneyburner liked this post

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    23
    Post Thanks / Like
    Keep those helpful hints coming. There is a wealth of information in this group! I'll be starting to record some numbers either tonight (10/21) or tomorrow, beginning with the battery's current draw (taxi and landing lights on w/engine off). Battery draw with engine off is 12.68. After that a close look at the alternator to see if it can be removed without taking off the prop (looks like the prop will have to come off, and I'll likely have to hire a mechanic for this). Before prop removal I'll pull the OVR breaker to see if this makes a difference. Will do this with engine running. If not, off comes the alternator to be bench checked and following your orders. I really appreciate all of your help! Thanks.
    Phil

  9. #9
    AkPA/18's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Big Lake Ak
    Posts
    652
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quite a few years ago when I was in Kodiak with a 1979 Super Cub I had to replace the brushes in the interav alternator. An old guy at the Marine electrical shop on Lily Lake knew all about those Ford alternators and had a set of brushes for me. Can't remember the whole procedure, seems to me there was a toothpick involved. I was able to replace the brushes without taking the prop and nose Bowl off. That was with the old guys instructions he was pretty cool.
    http://thrustline.com/

    Takeoffs are optional--Landings are mandatory
    Likes mike mcs repair, FdxLou, Bowie, SJ liked this post

  10. #10
    wireweinie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    2,573
    Post Thanks / Like
    The alternator can be removed without pulling the prop. Prop needs to come off if replacing the belt, though.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.
    Thanks suupercub thanked for this post
    Likes AkPA/18 liked this post

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    23
    Post Thanks / Like
    Today I ran some numbers as you requested. With engine off, the battery draw was 12.68. Then with taxi light 12.06, and landing light 11.98. I pulled the OVR circuit breaker and started the acft. With the electrical components on but leaving landing lights off, the ammeter was indicating normal. However when I deployed the landing/taxi lights, the ammeter immediately went into discharge. I did this over again to determine that the OVR was malfunctioning. My question: Is it safe to fly with the OVR disabled? I rarely use the landing lights anyway, but looks like I'll have to order a new OVR to make the system complete. Would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks.

  12. #12
    moneyburner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    958
    Post Thanks / Like
    I’ll go straight from “not recommended” directly to “HELL NO”. There is a very good reason that an o/v relay is installed in the first place.

    It appears that you are conflating draw (current) with voltage. In the absence of a working charging system, current increases with load and voltage drops.

    I’ll say this with no malice or intent to insult whatsoever, but when you consider bypassing safety equipment, the consequences can be quite serious. This might be the time to step back a bit and enlist the assistance of someone with a bit more experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by suupercub View Post
    Today I ran some numbers as you requested. With engine off, the battery draw was 12.68. Then with taxi light 12.06, and landing light 11.98. I pulled the OVR circuit breaker and started the acft. With the electrical components on but leaving landing lights off, the ammeter was indicating normal. However when I deployed the landing/taxi lights, the ammeter immediately went into discharge. I did this over again to determine that the OVR was malfunctioning. My question: Is it safe to fly with the OVR disabled? I rarely use the landing lights anyway, but looks like I'll have to order a new OVR to make the system complete. Would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks.
    Last edited by moneyburner; 10-22-2019 at 07:01 PM.
    Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum videtur
    Thanks suupercub thanked for this post
    Likes mike mcs repair liked this post

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    23
    Post Thanks / Like
    No offense taken. Will order a new OVR tomorrow. Thanks.

  14. #14
    wireweinie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    2,573
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by suupercub View Post
    Today I ran some numbers as you requested. With engine off, the battery draw was 12.68. Then with taxi light 12.06, and landing light 11.98. I pulled the OVR circuit breaker and started the acft. With the electrical components on but leaving landing lights off, the ammeter was indicating normal. However when I deployed the landing/taxi lights, the ammeter immediately went into discharge. I did this over again to determine that the OVR was malfunctioning. My question: Is it safe to fly with the OVR disabled? I rarely use the landing lights anyway, but looks like I'll have to order a new OVR to make the system complete. Would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks.
    Hang on a second. The over voltage relay is just that; a relay. In this system a sensor in the unit looks for high voltage. When voltage exceeds a certain limit, the relay opens the field circuit, stopping the charging system from operating. When you pulled the circuit breaker, the relay opened the field circuit shutting the alternator system off. You were just running on battery power. I'm curious about the ammeter reading 'normal'. Was it just reading '0'?

    Start your engine. Make sure your alternator field (over voltage) breaker and output breaker are both set (pushed in) See what your buss voltage is, with a digital volt meter. If you can't reach the bus to clip on the positive voltmeter lead, see if you can put it into a lighter socket. Turn on all electrical loads and see if your buss voltage drops. It should stay around 13.8 volts. Make sure the battery is charged up from the engine start and the idle rpm is above 1000 rpm.

    If you pull your over voltage breaker, it just shuts off your charging system. As long as you minimize the electrical load (don't turn on anything not needed for flight) and you understand that the battery will not be recharged as you are flying, your perfectly safe to fly.

    And as stated in moneyburner's post you have rolled voltage readings and current readings together. It's quicker to troubleshoot a charging system using voltage readings but the 'load' on a charging system is actually current measured in amps. If you have an ammeter in the battery lead (old school, as in original generator systems), it will ALWAYS read discharge if the electrical system is on and the engine is off. If it goes into discharge when the engine is running above idle, it's indicating that the alternator is not able to supply power and some of that power is coming out of the battery.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.
    Thanks mike mcs repair thanked for this post
    Likes moneyburner liked this post

  15. #15
    moneyburner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    958
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post

    If you pull your over voltage breaker, it just shuts off your charging system. As long as you minimize the electrical load (don't turn on anything not needed for flight) and you understand that the battery will not be recharged as you are flying, your perfectly safe to fly.

    Web
    I thought he meant to by-pass the O/V relay; that wouldnít be safe. I didnít read it hard enough.
    Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum videtur

  16. #16
    moneyburner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    958
    Post Thanks / Like
    Name:  IMG_1571.JPG
Views: 348
Size:  18.8 KB


    This is the O/V reset procedure.
    Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum videtur

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    23
    Post Thanks / Like
    I've been giving this a second thought. Rather than purchasing accessories piecemeal and then discovering that wasn't the problem, I decided to contact Quality Aircraft Accessories (formerly Interav) who forwarded me a detailed trouble shooting guide for the alternator and voltage regulator. The alternator check was suggested by "Mike MCS Repair", "Money Burner" and "Wire Weenie", and I thank them for this! If the alternator checked out the next step would be to purchase their new Plane Power voltage regulator which includes the over voltage relay. I'll try to keep you posted on "progress", but this may take some time.
    Thanks wireweinie thanked for this post
    Likes moneyburner liked this post

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    23
    Post Thanks / Like
    A quick update: I purchased the Plane Power R1224 from Quality Aircraft Accessories ($200) and removed the old regulator and over voltage relay. The holes in the new regulator didn't match up with the firewall mounting bracket so had a friend drill and install new nut plates on the bracket. This weekend we'll reinstall the hardware to see if the new regulator solves the problem. If not, next step is the alternator.

  19. #19

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    23
    Post Thanks / Like
    We just finished installing the new R1224 voltage regulator (Quality Aircraft Accessories) and checked the electrical system with all lights and avionics systems turned on. The Plane Power R1224 was the answer to my prayers (even though I'm not religious). I want to thank you all for your help!
    Likes moneyburner liked this post

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 17
    Last Post: 02-27-2018, 06:24 PM
  2. Superflite fabric STC "any coating system"
    By PA-22/20-160 in forum Cafe Supercub
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-03-2017, 08:23 PM
  3. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 12-18-2015, 12:48 PM
  4. Replies: 15
    Last Post: 12-13-2015, 11:03 AM
  5. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-13-2014, 06:06 PM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •